Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Clinical Psychology


Theodore V. Cooper


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been historically associated with negative life outcomes among the general population. There has been no research, to the author's knowledge, on psychosocial and/or cultural moderators of the associations between ACEs and substance use among Latinx college students living on the U.S./Mexico border. This study assessed how specific constructs within the socioecological framework moderate the association between ACEs and alcohol and marijuana use. Participants (Females: N = 283, Mage = 20.86, SD = 3.71, Males: N = 111, Mage = 20.65, SD = 3.13) completed an online survey which included: demographics, the Center for Youth Wellness Adverse Childhood Experience Questionnaire (CYW ACE-Q) Teen Self-Report, Drug Use Frequency (DUF), Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR), General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), Attitudinal Familism Scale (AFS), The Machismo Measure or The Marianismo Beliefs Scale (MBS), and The Bicultural Self-Efficacy Scale (BSE). Hierarchal linear regressions were conducted to test for main and interactive effects and to determine if the individual moderators (i.e., attachment style, self-efficacy, familism, traditional gender norms, bicultural self-efficacy) affect the relationship between ACEs and alcohol and marijuana use. Results indicated that among females, attachment style, MBS, and BSE moderate the relationship between ACEs and alcohol and marijuana use. No moderation analyses were statistically significant among males. Future directions include prospective studies, inclusive of both genders, and the assessment of other individual level constructs such as symptoms of mental illness and coping strategies. Extending to other sociocultural levels of influence by also assessing non-familial relationship patterns and community norms and perceived stigma are also warranted. Clinical implications include, for both substance use and trauma treatment among Latinx college students, the assessment of ACEs and attachment style to promote greater insight into the client's inner struggles and emotional processing in relation to marianismo beliefs and bicultural self-efficacy.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

90 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Claudia J. Woloshchuk